Insider ‘Accidents’ Blamed for Most Data Loss Incidents – Report

Human error was the number one cause of data loss among UK businesses last year, according to Databarracks.

The back-up and DR firm interviewed over 400 IT decision makers to compile its Data Health Check report.

It found that across all organizations, 24% of respondents said data loss had been caused by employee error, closely followed by hardware failure (21%) and data corruption (19%).

The figure for data loss due to human error rose even higher to 31% for mid-sized firms.

Databarracks technical operations manager, Oscar Arean, argued that many smaller firms mistakenly believe their teams are too small to warrant data security policies.

As a result, there are often no processes in place to manage the risk that can come from individual staff members being given privileged access to data, he added.

The insider threat to organizations has been well documented over the years.

From Ashley Madison to JPMorgan, employees or those with access to internal networks have been fingered for major incidents.

The FBI even issued a red flag advisory on it last year.

A report from Vormetric back in April found 92% of IT decision makers working in healthcare think their organization is vulnerable to insider threats. Some 62% highlighted privileged users as the most dangerous type of insider.

Another report, this time in June, claimed 62% of information security professionals believe insider threats have become more frequent over the past 12 months.

However, the Databarracks report claimed that big businesses were most affected by hardware failure, rather than employee accidents. Nearly one third (31%) said it caused a data breach, up from 29% last year.

It’s thought that the cost of maintaining a complex, heterogeneous IT environment means many delay vital hardware upgrades, leading to failures which can cause data breach incidents.

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